Anthony Trollope, Can You Forgive Her?: Vol. 2, Ch. 12

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But he might probably have got over the annoyance of this feeling had he not been overwhelmed by a consciousness that everything was going badly with him. He was already beginning to hate his seat in Parliament. What good had it done for him, or was it likely to do for him? He found himself to be associated there with Mr Bott, and a few others of the same class,—men whom he despised; and even they did not admit him among them without a certain show of superiority on their part. Who has not ascertained by his own experience the different lights through which the same events may be seen, according to the success, or want of success, which pervades the atmosphere at the moment? At the present time everything was unsuccessful with George Vavasor; and though he told himself, almost from hour to hour, that he would go on with the thing which he had begun,—that he would persevere in Parliament till he had obtained a hearing there and created for himself success, he could not himself believe in the promises which he had made to himself. He had looked forward to his entrance into that Chamber as the hour of his triumph; but he had entered it with Mr Bott, and there had been no triumph to him in doing so. He had sworn to himself that when there he would find men to hear him. Hitherto, indeed, he could not accuse himself of having missed his opportunities; his election had been so recent that he could hardly yet have made the attempt. But he had been there long enough to learn to fancy that there was no glory in attempting. This art of speaking in Parliament, which had appeared to him to be so grand, seemed already to be a humdrum, homely, dull affair. No one seemed to listen much to what was said. To such as himself,—Members without an acquired name,—men did not seem to listen at all. Mr Palliser had once, in his hearing, spoken for two hours together, and all the House had treated his speech with respect,—had declared that it was useful, solid, conscientious, and what not; but more than half the House had been asleep more than half the time that he was on his legs. Vavasor had not as yet commenced his career as an orator; but night after night, as he sat there, the chance of commencing it with brilliance seemed to be further from him, and still further. Two thousand pounds of his own money, and two thousand more of Alice's money,—or of Mr Grey's,—he had already spent to make his way into that assembly. He must spend, at any rate, two thousand more if he intended that his career should be prolonged beyond a three months' sitting;—and how was he to get this further sum after what had taken place to-day?

He would get it. That was his resolve as he walked in by the apple-woman's stall, under the shadow of the great policeman, and between the two august lamps. He would get it;—as long as Alice had a pound over which he could obtain mastery by any act or violence within his compass. He would get it; even though it should come through the hands of John Grey and Mr Tombe. He would get it; though in doing so he might destroy his cousin Alice and ruin his sister Kate. He had gone too far to stick at any scruples. Had he not often declared how great had been that murderer who had been able to divest himself of all such scruples,—who had scoured his bosom free from all fears of the hereafter, and, as regarded the present, had dared to trust for everything to success? He would go to Alice and demand the money from her with threats, and with that violence in his eyes which he knew so well how to assume. He believed that when he so demanded it, the money would be forthcoming so as to satisfy, at any rate, his present emergencies.

That wretched old man in Westmoreland! If he would but die, there might yet be a hope remaining of permanent success! Even though the estate might be entailed so as to give him no more than a life-interest, still money might be raised on it. His life-interest in it would be worth ten or twelve years' purchase. He had an idea that his grandfather had not as yet made any such will when he left the place in Westmoreland. What a boon it would be if death could be made to overtake the old man before he did so! On this very night he walked about the lobbies of the House, thinking of all this. He went by himself from room to room, roaming along passages, sitting now for ten minutes in the gallery, and then again for a short space in the body of the House,—till he would get up and wander again out into the lobby, impatient of the neighbourhood of Mr Bott. Certainly just at this time he felt no desire to bring before the House the subject of the River Embankment.